The Vengeance of She

Starring: John Richardson and Olinka Berova
Warner Home Video
RRP: 7.99
Certificate: PG
Available 11 October 2004

A beautiful young woman walks a long road with no memory of who she is. After a run-in with a lorry driver, she finds herself on a beach and, on impulse, swims out to a yacht owned by a millionaire. She is discovered after they set sail, and befriended by a psychiatrist colleague of the millionaire. It turns out that Carol is being possessed by the spirit of Ayesha, the wicked and powerful queen of a hidden city from a bygone age, called Kuma. When the millionaire dies from a heart attack, the others make for a port in North Africa to report events. Carol is used to people near her getting hurt so she leaves. The psychiatrist has fallen for Carol and, with the help of the skipper, searches for her. They are drawn to Kuma where Ayesha's immortal ex-lover plans to make her live again in Carol...

Oh dear. After so many excellent offerings recently from the archives of Hammer Productions, The Vengeance of She from 1967 lets the side down badly. It's almost as if two bob was left over from that year's budget; everything looks cheap. Who chose Olinka Berova for the main part? She can't act for toffee. Yes, she's attractive, but so are all the handmaidens and they don't try to pretend they're thespians.

I must mention the music, because it's one of the worst scores I've ever heard. There's no feeling for light and shade, or when silence itself is golden. Here we have a sleazy saxophone beat us over the head with the same looped melody until thoughts of sticking your head down the toilet and flushing become a tempting diversion. Eventually, when that recording has worn itself out, another one emerges and the brainwashing begins all over again.

I could go on, and mention that few of the characters act naturally to certain events (even Carol frees herself from an Arab's bonds and rather than taking his available horse, flees in the opposite direction), but suffice to say that this sequel to the 1965 Ursula Andress film She is slow and contains no tension. I think we'll just pretend this one didn't happen.

Ty Power

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